dnd 5e – For a multiclassed caster targeted by Spell Thief, what spellcasting ability does the target use?

Spell Thief states:

[…] Immediately after a creature casts a spell that targets you or includes you in its area of effect, you can use your reaction to force the creature to make a saving throw with its spellcasting ability modifier. The DC equals your spell save DC. […]

For a multiclassed spellcaster who is the target of this feature, what spellcasting ability do they use to make the save?

For example, let’s say you have a Warlock 17/Wizard 3, targeted by this feature do they use Charisma or Intelligence for the check?

dnd 5e – RAW can creatures with Innate Spellcasting cast spells while using their Change Shape ability?

While researching monsters that can shape change to mess with my players there are a few that also have innate spellcasting. I’m trying to figure out RAW if each of the examples can use their spellcasting while using their ability to change their appearance. The wording of each’s ability are all slightly different but with enough similarity that I think it can be reasonably covered in the same question.

I found the following list of creatures with both Innate Spellcasting and the Shape Change ability:

  • Night Hag
  • Oni
  • Deva
  • Some Ancient Dragons
  • Smiling One Cloud Giant

Note: I’m aware not all Ancient Dragons have the Shape Change ability and that Ancient Dragons don’t technically have spellcasting normally but we’ll go off the assumption of using the variant rules for them in this instance as that’s when it’s relevant.

Night Hag

Wording of the Night Hag’s Change Shape ability:

Change Shape: The hag magically polymorphs into a Small or Medium female Humanoid, or back into her true form. Her Statistics are the same in each form. Any Equipment she is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. She reverts to her true form if she dies.


The Oni has the exact same wording for their ability with the relevant pronouns swapped, clarifying what they can turn into, and a bit of extra wording to clarify that their glaive transforms with them:

Change Shape. The oni magically polymorphs into a Small or Medium humanoid, into a Large giant, or back into its true form. Other than its size, its statistics are the same in each form. The only equipment that is transformed is its glaive, which shrinks so that it can be wielded in humanoid form. If the oni dies, it reverts to its true form, and its glaive reverts to its normal size.

Smiling One

The Smiling One Cloud Giant has very similar wording with the addition of being able to transform into a beast it has seen:

Change Shape. The giant magically polymorphs into a beast or humanoid it has seen, or back into its true form. Any equipment the giant is wearing or carrying is absorbed by the new form. Its statistics, other than its size, are the same in each form. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Devas and Dragons

Devas and Dragons seem to have extra choices on top of the basic “… magically polymorph into a …” wordings but ultimately I think the relevant portions that I’ll be talking about for the wordings are all the same as above and thus for brevity I’ll not copy the exact text here.

Innate Spellcasting Specifics

Almost all of the aforementioned creatures share an extremely similar Innate Spellcasting feature which includes *”…can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components…”. The only exceptions to this are the Deva which instead says it just has Verbal components for its spells (and specifically mentions retaining its ability to speak while transformed) and the Smiling One has both Innate Spellcasting feature and Spellcasting feature where it *”…has the following spells prepared…”

Common Wording Considerations

  • “…magically polymorphs into…”: polymorph being lowercase and none of the creatures mentioning having the Polymorph spell within their abilities makes me think this is just an innate ability of the given creature. The only real sticking point I’m unsure of for this ability is if it requires concentration or not, like if you’d cast the spell to get the effect.
  • Innate Spellcasting: is well… innate. It’s a property of the creature itself and not a spell being cast by it to produce the effect (though they do all include the wording “magically”)
  • “Statistics are the same in each form”: The Night Hag, Oni, and Smiling One share this exact wording which makes me think that, as long as the form they took could still complete the required components of the spell (VSM), they’d still have the capability to cast the spell. Deva and Ancient dragons go even beyond this in that they retain some of their more powerful aspects even while transfigured and most specifically their ability to speak (talking rabbit anyone?)
  • “…requiring no material components.”: going off the previous statement about ability to cast the spells in question all of them allow ignoring the material component. The only slight exception to this are for the spells prepared by the Smiling One that would still require their usual components (its innate spells would still ignore the material component like the rest).

Related Questions Found

  • Can a Shapechanger use Innate Spellcasting while in their animal form?: answer given was yes, they can though this is a little different as its specifically regarding the Shapechanger creature subtype (Imps and Dopplegangers being common examples), so not quite the same thing as the Shape Change ability though with similar wordings

  • Does innate spellcasting by creatures have verbal or somatic components?: Answer given was essentially “requires VSM unless it explicitly says otherwise”. Material is ignored for all of the innate casting but this would imply that verbal and somatic are still a requirement for each of the spells

  • RAW, can innate spellcaster dragons cast spells with somatic components?: answer seems to be yes with a few other examples of creatures without “hands” still seemingly being able to innately cast spells: Faerie Dragon (tiny dragon with hand like claws), Ki-Rin (unicorn-esque creature with hooves), and Morkoth (fish creature with tentacles). This is perhaps one of the more interesting rulings as it somewhat leaves the answer up to DM interpretation but, if taken in the same context as the answer here, basically any limb likely counts for somatic components.

  • Does the Shapechange spell allow one to use Innate Spellcasting of the creature they turned into?: answer seems to be Yes. The abilities described above are not the Shapechange spell but have rather similar interpretations based on how Innate Spellcasting is considered a Statistic and Special Trait and thus inherited unless specified otherwise

  • Is there a way to counterspell a level 20 druid?: answer seems to be No. This is perhaps the least related but I thought it interesting enough to include. The druid’s capstone feature Archdruid let’s them ignore the verbal, somatic, and non-consumed material cost of spells while wild shaped. There’s clearly a number of reasons this is different but it’s an interesting food for thought question of if a character would recognize the somatic movement of a spell if delivered by a Ki-Rin?

My Conclusion

tl;dr: I believe the answer is Yes with some limitation based on the form chosen.

I can’t find any reason, as long as the form taken can perform the required verbal or somatic components of the spell, that a creature using its Shape Change ability couldn’t cast its Innate Spells. The only possible exception to this seems to be if this ability somehow required concentration though I’d expect then it would be listed explicitly in the description of the ability like how the Imp’s ability to turn invisible explicitly mentions concentration. So, with that, humanoid transformations certainly could cast any innate spell and Devas and Ancient Dragons, as they retain their ability to speak, should be able to innately cast spells while transformed into… basically anything. Perhaps as long as it had a limb? So maybe not a worm though argument could be made for a certain kind of wriggling accounting for the somatic component. Note: You’d need to be extra mindful of which spells were being cast by a Smiling One for if they were innate or prepared.

Certainly DM can adjust a bit to make more interesting situations but the above appears to be RAW best I can tell.

So, did I miss anything?

What is meant by "polymorphism is the ability of an object to take many forms"?

You do not know.

We know semantically that a dog is an animal, but that's not what you ask.

For an animal variable to be an animal, not just something that is an animal, it must be concrete and not abstract. That means that everything that an animal is and does must be defined alone.

This does not mean that a dog cannot come along and redefine it while being an animal. Abstract or concrete can be redefined.

But when we talk to something that we only know as an animal, we don't know if we really speak to it. We only know how to talk to it. As strange as it is, that's actually a good thing. It means what it is can be decided elsewhere.

The ability to deal with the “form” that is decided elsewhere is called polymorphism.

dnd 5e – Does the ability of a Bullywug Royal's frog rider work with giant toads?

Ghosts of Saltmarsh's WOTC hardcover contains several new stat blocks, including the Bullywug Royal, which features:

Frog rider. The king has advantages in melee attacks carried out on a frog mount.

However, the Bullywug Royal is a medium-sized creature, which means that it has to mount a large or larger creature. The largest frog creature is the giant frog, which is medium in size and therefore cannot be climbed by the king. That being said, the giant toad is a big creature, and the Royals lint text says:

A Bullywug Royal is often accompanied by a giant toad and astride it.

So does a Bullywug Royal benefit from "Frog Rider" while riding a giant toad?

dnd 5e – Does the Legion of One Echo Knight ability allow any echo to unleash the incarnation?

The Echo Knight is the one who is granted the additional attack by Unleash Incarnation and the feature says that this additional attack will be granted if the knight chooses to use the feature when performing the attack action.

The function also allows the knight to perform this additional attack (and not the knight's normal attacks) from the position of the echo.

The important point here is that the Echo itself is never granted an attack.

If the "Unleash Incarnation" feature is later enhanced by the "Legion of One" feature, the Echo Knight still only has one additional attack. Due to the fact that Legion of One allows the knight to have two echoes at the same time, the knight can choose which echoes to use position to make this attack from.

The knight can perform additional attacks from Unleash Incarnation Only if the attack action can be carried out additional times. The obvious ways to do this are the fighter's action surge ability or spell Hurry. The same restriction is decisive: each time the attack action is carried out, only one additional attack is granted.

To put it more directly, an 18th level fighter typically has 3 attacks per attack. Using "Unleash Incarnation" with the attack action would give the fighter a fourth attack. If the knight action increases, it can do so again for a total of 8 attacks, except for all potential attacks granted by its bonus action.

Note that this would be the case if the knight had an attack through a bonus action (e.g. a large weapons master or a staff arm master) Not Allow the knight to use Unleash Incarnation again, as this bonus attack is not granted by "grabbing the attack". This is the prerequisite to receive the additional attack from Unleash Incarnation.

dnd 5e – When does the "Grovel, Cower and Beg" Kobold race ability come into force?

I think you have to take a step back and look at the rules for this skill in relation to the narrative action they are trying to establish: a goblin who so strongly reflects and utters an uninterrupted stream of homage that it becomes a disgusting distraction .

If the goblin moves away after launch, this distraction will be removed from the creatures in the area where it started.

What is effectively created here is an aura, similar to paladins (you could call it a "distraction aura"). The main difference is that, unlike a paladin aura that is always "on", it has a specific start and stop time.

If an aura-like effect is only to be assessed for possible targets at the time of activation, it generally contains a corresponding language. For example: Path of the Storm Herald Barbarians Sturmaura:

Your aura has an effect that is activated when you enter your rage, and you can re-activate the effect in each of your turns as a bonus action.

Since the goblin's racial trait does not include this type of formulation, we must conclude that the creatures affected are continually re-evaluated, and not at a single point in time of activation.

How does the druid's wild shape function interact with magical books and manuals that increase a character's ability stats?

Certain books and manuals increase the skill rating of a character who uses them. Can a druid who has just entered Wild Shape benefit from such a volume / manual (i.e.Dex, Con, Str) since these books / manuals are believed to be "used up"?

dnd 5e – Can Mantle of Inspiration target the person with his ability?

The Bard College of Glamor's Mantle of Inspiration skill is as follows

As a bonus promotion, you can use your Bardic Inspiration to give yourself a wondrous look. When you do this, you select a number of creatures that you can see and that you can see within 60 feet of you, up to a number that matches your charisma modifier (at least one). Each of them receives 5 temporary hit points. When a creature receives these temporary hit points, it can instantly use its reaction to move at speed without provoking casual attacks.

Since you can see yourself technically, you can see your goal and your goal can see you. Can you target yourself with this skill?

dnd 5e – Are there ways to regain the ability to cast spells after taking a 33% chance of never being able to cast them again?

Are there ways to restore your ability to work Wish after suffering from the stress described in the last paragraph and losing your ability to work it?

The stress of casting this spell to achieve an effect other than duplicating another spell weakens you. After surviving this stress, you take 1d10 necrotic damage per level of this spell each time you cast a spell until you finish a long pause. This damage cannot be reduced or prevented in any way. In addition, your strength drops to 3 for 2d4 days if it is not 3 or less. For each of those days when you are resting and doing light activities, your remaining recovery time will decrease by 2 days. After all, there is a 33 percent chance that you will never be able to express wishes again if you suffer from this stress.